Catalyst Romania, backed by 3TS Capital Partners, is deploying a second venture capital fund targeting TMT companies, following an initial closing with institutional and private investors. Catalyst Romania Fund II, with a target fund size of EUR 40-50m, has been established as a result of being selected through European Investment Fund’s (EIF) call for expression of interest to invest capital from JEREMIE Romania Reflows and the EU’s InnovFin Programme. In parallel, Catalyst has secured significant financial support from a plethora of notable private investors.
Catalyst Romania Fund II is the first ever 2nd-generation early stage venture capital fund in Romania. It follows Catalyst Romania Fund I, operated by 3TS’ local management team and financed through the JEREMIE Romania initiative. The first fund invested more than EUR 12m in 10 well-known Romanian tech companies in recent years, including Elefant.ro, Vola.ro, Vector Watch, AvocatNet.ro, SmartBill, GreenHorse Games and Omniconvert. Catalyst Romania Fund II will continue focusing on tech companies that have already launched products into their target markets and have experienced management teams. During the initial investment period, the fund plans to provide between EUR 1m and 3m to 16 Romanian companies to support their growth objectives and international expansion plans. Catalyst also brings indispensable company scaling know-how, resources, business partners and co-investors from across Europe, North America and Asia. Catalyst Romania II will pursue investment opportunities in other Eastern European countries and elsewhere, as long as companies have business substance in Romania, through operations, development teams or sales.
„We are deploying a new VC fund at the right moment in time for the Romanian tech ecosystem. The industry is facing a new level of adoption fueled by Covid-19. Despite the human, social and economic turmoil, the pandemic pushes us to advance to a safer, more flexible and digital world on a faster pace than usual. We are ready to provide much needed financial resources as well as our vast expertise in supporting the growth of software, internet and other TMT businesses in Romania and abroad”, stated Marius Ghenea, Managing Partner Catalyst Romania.
EUR 15m has been committed to Catalyst Romania II from JEREMIE Reflows and EIF’s InnovFin Equity Programme. The rest of the fund’s capital is secured through the participation of more than 30 private investors – seasoned local entrepreneurs and senior executives from various industries, including a number of portfolio companies’ founders from Catalyst’s first fund.
“We know the Catalyst Romania Team personally for quite some time and we have been impressed by their existing portfolio and their positive involvement in the local entrepreneurial ecosystem throughout the years. It is great to see their achievement of being the first team who manages to raise a second Venture Capital Fund in our country, and we are happy to be part of it!” said Adrian Mihai, Managing Partner FAN Courier.
JEREMIE Romania is a set of financial instruments initially supported from Romania’s structural funds during the programming period 2007-2013. Following the end of the programming period, EIF continues to act for and on behalf of the Government of Romania to manage the resources returned from the initial implementation under a new agreement signed in September 2020.
“The JEREMIE initiative enters a new phase. While reusing financial resources that return from previous instruments implemented in Romania, it continues to help forge an ecosystem of equity investments, pooling both public, institutional and private investors. It is JEREMIE’s best asset, apart from directing financing and investments into Romanian SMEs, in helping companies grow, develop and create jobs. I wish the experienced Catalyst Romania team the very best”, added Pablo Millan, Head of Mandate Management – Equity with the EIF.
Catalyst Romania has a proven track record of investing and growing technology businesses. The infusion of growth capital, business expansion best-practices, strategic guidance and access to new networks provided by the Catalyst team has helped drive an average compounded annual revenue growth rate of 40% across current portfolio companies. Catalyst Romania Fund I has carried out two exits through transactions with strategic acquirers, while three other companies are currently in exit processes. Over the next years, the first fund will completely divest its portfolio through transactions with strategic or financial investors, or through listings on stock exchanges in the region including the Bucharest Stock Exchange.
About Catalyst Romania
Catalyst Romania is a leading venture capital investor in Romanian technology companies that have the potential to become regional leaders or global challengers. Catalyst was the fund manager who raised the first Romanian venture fund backed by the JEREMIE Romania initiative in 2012. The team, comprising of Marius Ghenea, Alin Stanciu, Jozsef Kover and Alina Georgescu, will continue to primarily target investments in high growth sectors including Technology & Internet, Media & Communications and Technology-Enabled Services. Catalyst Romania is an affiliate of 3TS Capital Partners, which serves as an extension of the Catalyst team and provides international expansion support for portfolio companies in Europe and the US. For further information, please visit www.catalystromania.com
The European Investment Fund is part of the European Investment Bank Group. Its central mission is to support Europe’s micro and small and medium-sized enterprises through access to finance. The EIF develops venture capital and growth instruments, guarantees and microfinance instruments, which specifically target this market segment. Through its role, the EIF promotes EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth and employment.
About InnovFin Equity Programme
The InnovFin Equity programme – managed by the EIF – is part of “InnovFin – EU Finance for Innovators”, an initiative launched by the European Commission (EC) and the EIB Group in the framework of Horizon 2020. InnovFin Equity provides equity investments and co-investments to or alongside investment funds, focusing on companies in their early stages of development, operating in innovative sectors covered by Horizon 2020. The aim is to develop an extensive portfolio of funds, mobilizing EUR 4-5bn of investments in businesses established or active in the EU and Horizon 2020 Associated Countries.
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